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Our Understanding of Membership

The Commitment

We believe that commitment comes from knowing that God has called us to a specific purpose, to a specific place, or people, for a specific period of time. WellSpring Fellowship, like an individual, has distinct purposes to accomplish and the linking of the right people to this purpose is important for the growth and fulfillment of both. You should be prayerful about choosing to whom you are going to be committed too.

One way you can know if something you should be a vital part of is by comparing your own purpose, spiritual goals and standards to that of this church. If they are not similar or there does not exist the potential for the mutual fulfillment of purpose, then you should consider finding some other affiliation. Your doctrinal emphasis and distinctives you hold dear are also important factors to consider. You should choose a church that provides a place for you to give and receive. On the giving end, there should be opportunities to grow by serving others, or at least the potential should exist to get involved with helping others. On the receiving end, you need to join a group that can provide the resources you and your family need. You also should associate with other brothers and sisters who have what you need to help you grow further in the Lord. The Lord always uses people to help shape our lives and provoke us to develop our Christian character. Finally, you need to join with those who are going where you want to go in the Lord.

Ownership

Some churches and denominations use membership as a means of stopping any kind of movement between their members and other churches. For some, membership becomes ownership. We do not see those who are a part of WellSpring as members, but rather as those who are committed to our church or not. The only membership we see required in scripture is being a part of the Body of Christ. We want you to be able to draw freely from other healthy groups as God leads. We also believe that possibility exists, through growth and time, that our church may no longer be able to meet your growth process. He does not mind us changing churches as it is all His Body. He just cares about why and how we do it.

Get Involved

We want those who are committed to WellSpring to get involved. There are three basic things that we are looking for in the lives of those who serve in the roles within our church. We are looking for maturity, motivation, and morality. Maturity can be measured by how we get along with others and how we relate to authority. Motivation is shown by the depth of our Christian character, and morality comes from a close and yielded walk with the Lord. Beyond this, we look for compatibility between the person's abilities and the task at hand. As we get to know a person and observe their readiness for responsibility, those in leadership will approach them with opportunities to serve.
While there are limited roles and responsibilities in any church; there are unlimited opportunities for personal growth by getting involved with others. There are no limits on how much you can get involved with our projects, outreaches, and events. There is no limit on hospitality and doing good works to those in need. Take every opportunity to encourage those around you, and use your abilities and skills to be a personal blessing to others. In time, the Lord will make room for your gift, allowing you to serve Him by serving others. "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Hebrews 6:10

Relationships

Building relationships requires the deepest level of commitment. At first glance, most churches seem to be made up of good people who "have it all together". It is only after we have gotten to know them that love and faithfulness are really required of us. Often forbearance and honesty are what strengthen our commitment, just like in a marriage or family. Love and faithfulness are required if you are to become deeply involved with any group, which is God's plan for our growth in the first place. "...and let is think of one another and how we can encourage each other in love and doing good deeds. And let is not hold aloof from our church, meetings as some do. Let is do all we can to help one another's faith, and this the more earnestly as we see the final day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24,25 (The Phillips Translation)

Pastoral Care

We want to provide good pastoral care for anyone who attends our church, but we can only fully do this for those who let us. In fact, we only have to give account for those who willingly follow our leadership and accept our authority. "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not grief for that would be unprofitable for you." Hebrews 13:17 We want those who are committed to WellSpring to learn how to properly relate to all levels of headship, within the home, community, and church. When this happens, it releases the nurture, correction, and direction we need from the Lord through the lines of authority He has set in place.

A Place to Give

When Someone is committed to a church, they share in financial responsibilities, which are incurred on their behalf. This includes salaries for staff, materials and resources for different departments, outreach, guest ministry, missions, etc. This is also true for WellSpring. It will require commitment to pay your share of the expenses each month. The elders, on your behalf, will decide how and where the finances are dispersed and will take into consideration the opinions and concerns of those who are committed to WellSpring. Each year, at the annual meeting, an accounting of the previous years' spending will be given; and a accounting of the projected spending for the coming year will be shared at this time.

Formalizing Your Commitment

All of what has been mentioned so far-embracing the purpose of our church, building relationships, receiving our authority and leadership, and giving financially are ways to show your commitment to what God is doing in our local church. When you are ready to express your commitment in a more formal way; let one of the elders know and they will help you find the right time to express this in a public way to your church family at WellSpring.

It is important to note that we reserve ministry opportunities in our church for those who have shown commitment by their actions and by formally expressing this in a public way. If someone fails to continue in their attendance or relinquishes their level of commitment and cannot be encouraged to begin anew; their formal commitment will be made void in the manner determined by the elders.

Because one of our goals is to build close relationships, we will avoid recruiting people for the sake of swelling numbers. Instead, we require those who want to become committed to WellSpring to go through a kind of "courtship period", where we can see how deep their commitment is to the philosophy of our ministry. To take this formal step you will need to meet with one of the pastors. You must also agree with our Statement of Faith Distinctives and will need to move towards the things that are important to us. Read the material on this website carefully as it is our handbook on how we "do church". This will help you decide if WellSpring is the right church for you.